Still Woozy Still Woos After Three Too Many Openers

Courtesy of Christina JohnsonOakland-based indie singer Still Woozy performed at Schubas Tavern Jan. 17.

With only six singles under his belt, Oakland, California-based artist Still Woozy entranced a sold-out crowd at Schubas Tavern (3159 N. Southport Ave.) Jan. 17.

The 25-year-old Sven Gamsky, known by his stage name Still Woozy, might have few songs in his repertoire, but he has enough to garner him nearly two million monthly listeners on Spotify, a slot headlining a show at Schubas and screaming, all-adoring fans.

On the mild Thursday night, doors to the sold-out show opened at 7:30 p.m. Eager concertgoers poured through Schubas’ entrance, stopping to get drinks from the ‘90s-inspired, glass-paneled bar or stopped by ourmusicmybody’s table to learn about the non-profit organization that often tables at music events to promote safe and consensual concert experiences.

As eager an audience it might have been, Gamsky didn’t take the stage for three hours. Instead, three openers — Jordanna, Monster Rally and Victor! — warmed up the audience, and the crowd only grew rowdier and more anticipatory with each set.

One might’ve ventured to guess three openers would’ve kept a crowd engaged and entertained.  While some concertgoers pumped their fists to the various bops and beats, most attendees competed to see who could be louder —  their shouted conversation or the music being performed.

Chicago native artist Jordanna opened the evening with her relaxed, raspier voice set to island-like guitar strums. Her mellow music served as an appetizer before the upcoming artists’ sets.

Bathed in aqua blue light, Los Angeles-based disc jockey Monster Rally took the stage as the second opener, mixing beats ranging from Mario Kart remixes to pieces resembling Christmas songs. “Silence of the Lambs”-esque graphics, complete with butterflies and earthy, muted tones, framed the stage as the DJ played his set, one that was better suited for a house party.

Nearing the end of his more than half an hour-long set, Monster Rally informed the crowd he has a couple more pieces, eliciting cheers but also dispersed remarks of discontent from the crowd.

Concert-goers wanted Woozy, and they wanted him at that moment.

Further testing the patience of some audience members, the third and final opener headed off the second half of the concert with a mellow, but sweet, performance. Chicago native Victor Cervantes, 18, also known by his stage name Victor!, threw red, long-stemmed roses into the outstretched arms of audiences while performing singles — some solo, some with his bandmates — including “Virgo,” “Tinder” and “Portra 400.”

Three openers and half an hour of an intermission later, the long-awaited act began, and Gamsky took the stage accompanied by his drummer and DJ-guitarist, who — Gamsky made sure to point out — sewed his own pants.

Concertgoers packed tightly, cameras and drinks in hand, as the lights dimmed. Gamsky took his position behind a lone microphone and proceeded to give a rambunctious performance. He flailed his arms, baltering with great enthusiasm. His lively performance was exactly the energy needed after such a long wait.

Considering Gamsky’s six songs, with all but one less than three minutes in length, would require no more than half an hour to perform, Gamsky performed covers, including Hank Williams’ “Angel of Death,” to lengthen his set.

Gamsky brimmed with energy like a shaken soda bottle. Energy transmitted into the crowd, which finally quieted down and, instead of conversing, sang along to the artist’s masterfully blended indie and electronic tunes.

Still Woozy can be found on streaming platforms, including Spotify and SoundCloud. Victor! and Monster Rally can be found on SoundCloud.  

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